St. Patrick's Day is a beloved holiday celebrated by millions of people around the world on March 17th each year. For many, the day marks a time to enjoy good food, good company, and of course, good beer. (Yes, there are those who prefer to celebrate with ample amounts of Irish whiskey. That works too!) But when it comes to Irish beers, there is no shortage of delicious options to choose from. Here are eight of our favorites:
You can’t make a list of Irish beers without mentioning Guinness. This iconic beer has been a staple in Irish pubs for over two centuries and is known for its rich, creamy texture, and its malty sweetness, which is balanced by a hoppy bitterness and notes of coffee and chocolate. (We love baking chocolate cake with it for this exact reason.) There’s also a roasted flavor that comes through due to the roasted, unmalted barley that goes into the brewing process. Whether you prefer a classic pint of Guinness or something a bit more experimental, this beer is sure to please.
PRO TIP: If you want the most delicious pint of Guinness your taste buds will ever delight in enjoying, you must visit the Guinness factory in Dublin, Ireland. They’re playing a different game over there and the beer, fresh from the bowels of the factory, tastes noticeably better.
Smithwick's is another classic Irish beer that is a favorite among many beer lovers. This red ale has a mildly hoppy, malty flavor with a hint of roasted barley that pairs well with a variety of foods. It's a great beer to enjoy with a hearty meal or to sip, while catching up with friends, or certainly for celebrating St. Paddy.
Kilkenny is a cream ale that is similar in flavor to Smithwick's but with a creamier, smoother texture. This beer has a slightly sweet flavor that is balanced out by a subtle bitterness, making it a great choice for those who prefer a beer that is not too hoppy.
4. Harp Lager
Harp Lager is a light, refreshing beer with notes of grassy hops and citrus flavors and it’s perfect for those who prefer a milder flavored beer. This lager has a crisp, clean taste that is excellent for hot summer days or for sipping on while enjoying a game of football (or soccer, as we say here in the States).
5. Murphy's Irish Stout
While Guinness may be the most famous of the Irish stouts (if not all beers), Murphy's Irish Stout is definitely worth trying. (It’s our second favorite Irish beer, behind Guinness.) We enjoy it for its smooth, creamy texture and its somewhat sweet flavor, which is a nice balance to its deep roasted malt, coffee, and bittersweet chocolate flavors. It's definitely a great choice for those who enjoy imbibing stouts but want something a bit different from Guinness.
6. Beamish Irish Stout
You can’t go wrong with Beamish Irish Stout as another great Irish stout option. This beer has a rich, dark color and a smooth, creamy texture that is similar to Guinness. And like a good Irish stout, it also boasts a rich roasted flavor with the requisite coffee and dark chocolate undertones. It is, however, the teeniest bit sweeter in flavor than its more famous counterpart. It’s definitely worth trying when celebrating St. Patrick’s Day!
7. O'Hara's Irish Red
If you're looking for a beer with a bit more flavor, O'Hara's Irish Red is a great choice. This beer features a light hop, malty taste with hints of caramel, toffee, and roasted barley. It's a great beer to pair with hearty dishes like stews and roasts.
8. Galway Bay Brewery's Of Foam and Fury
For those who love hoppy beers, Galway Bay Brewery's Of Foam and Fury is a must-try. This double IPA is packed with hops and has a strong, bitter flavor that’s sure to please hopheads. This beer tastes like it smells, giving you notes of big tropical fruits like mango, sweet fruity malts, and juicy citrus including grapefruit. It's a great beer to pair with spicy dishes or strong cheeses. (Irish curry, anyone?)
It’s hard to go wrong when selecting an Irish beer (or several) to enjoy on St Patrick’s Day. Whether you prefer a classic pint of Guinness, a red beer, or perhaps something a bit more experimental, there are no bad options for your taste buds. So grab yourself a pint and raise a glass to the luck of the Irish! (And please remember to celebrate responsibly. 😉)
For a tasty accompaniment, don't miss our Guinness & Bailey's Cake!